The three most common reasons for physical therapy are falls, auto accidents, and sports injuries. Knowing who pays for it and how to obtain compensation for out-of-pocket expenses is essential.
While people suffer accidents daily, tripping up a curb, banging a head on an open cabinet door, or jamming a leg against the corner of a low table, many serious injuries require a physical therapist’s help. Physical therapists treat serious and non-serious injuries alike, as injury can occur wherever you go, home, work, roadways, and stores. But when you cannot sleep, work, or grocery shop because you have too much pain to tend to daily activities, you need rehabilitative pain relief and restoration of healthy muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Restorative therapy includes strength, endurance, and flexibility.
When you slip on a slick surface or fall from a height, you may end up with sprains, bruises, cuts, and fractures. After visiting your doctor for a health evaluation, you may get a referral to a physical therapist to treat specific areas of the body, for instance, the back, neck, head, arms, and legs. Depending on how you feel, you may experience pain not only in the area directly impacted with the hard floor in the supermarket slip and fall, like the knees but also the neck and shoulders from bracing for the fall. In many accidents, the neck, back, and shoulders are jolted from impact but also tensing up in anticipation of impact and protecting the head. Whiplash is common in many types of accidents.
Physical Therapy after Car Accidents
Take car accidents, for instance. Of the millions of car accidents annually, whiplash is one of the more common resulting injuries. A driver may see the oncoming car or swerving vehicle into their lane and tense their arms, grip the steering wheel, clench their jaw, and stiffen their neck. When the impact occurs, all muscles, joints, nerves, and ligaments associated with those body parts suffer various degrees of stretching, straining, and tearing. Much depends on the severity of the impact. But car accidents may also include cuts from shattered glass, bruises from airbags deploying, internal injuries from being crushed or blunted with the steering wheel, windshield, or other car parts, and spinal cord and brain injuries from blunt trauma. Therapy may last for months for serious car accidents to get pain relief and mobility recovery.
Needing Physical Therapy for Sports and Workplace Injuries in NJ
And common sports injuries include muscle and ligament tears, like ACLU injuries, pulled muscles, sprained ankles, and shoulder, groin, and knee injuries. Whether a professional or recreational athlete, sports injuries are common reasons for physical therapy. Common workplace accidents and overuse injuries also necessitate physical therapy and continued treatment to manage and improve the areas of difficulty, whether the back, knee, neck, shoulder or another area of the body.
Importance of Physical Therapy in your Recovery Process
Whatever the reason for your visit, physical therapy can help you recover faster, in many cases, returning to your pre-accident strength and mobility or improved daily functioning at the very least. Moreover, PT may help with the residual effects of an injury, like stiffness, overcompensation, and imbalance. When healing from a painful knee injury, you may develop tightness, stiffness, and overuse injury to the leg with the healthy knee. That may affect your balance and ability to walk for long periods. Physical therapists can help you overcome the long-term or secondary effects of injuries, for example, preventing a fall due to imbalance after a knee injury.
A further reason for physical therapy after an accident is pain management. With physical therapy, patients may forego or reduce the number of pain killers they need to cope with daily functioning. Physical therapy or PT builds strength and taps into natural pain relief by making space between bone and tissue that compress a nerve. Physical manipulation of the muscles and joints plus massage and nerve stimulation can provide natural pain relief rather than the temporary relief of opioids. Besides that, getting stronger with safe exercises improves a patient’s mood to make recovery quicker.
What if I can’t Afford a Physical Therapist for Accident Injuries?
Every injured person wants to recover quicker and return to their lives before their accident. Financially, physical therapy may not be available to everyone, though most insurance policies cover it as medical treatment. However, if your accident resulted from another’s negligence, the costs of PT and all medical expenses may be within the responsible party’s insurance coverage or still their liability. In fact, many medical providers will take a lien against your future recovery if you are unable to pay for PT when you need it.
When lodging a personal injury claim against the responsible party and often their insurer, an accident victim totals all costs from medical to lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses for past, present, and future diagnosis and treatment of injuries due to the accident. By law, you are entitled to compensation for your losses to make you whole or place you in the pre-accident financial condition. At the time of settlement of your claim, you may reimburse your medical providers for treatment, or reimburse yourself for all of the money spent on previous medical care.
To prove your injuries and need for treatment are real to an insurer or a judge, you can show that physical therapy helped in the past and continues to help with the long-term effects of the accident. In that way, you can claim future costs of therapy in your accident claim and show that you are serious about your recovery as you follow doctor’s orders. An insurer or the negligent party may try to downgrade your injuries as minimal and your medical treatment as overstated. However, showing a consistent dedication of time to treatment and healing with PT can bolster your claim that you were injured to the extent you claim, and the documented PT details the treatment necessity and progress.
Seeking Compensation to Cover Physical Therapy Costs when You Have been Injured in an Accident in NJ
Fortunately, you do not have to suffer the effects of an injury and, at the same time, pursue a claim with an adversarial insurance company or responsible party by yourself. You must carefully prepare and pursue a personal injury claim. Insurance company adjusters and defense attorneys get paid to cast doubt and skepticism on personal injury claims. They look for over-billing and unnecessary treatment, and any other costs to pare down from a claim. Fighting for your claim while you are treating for painful injuries is tough.
Concerned about Covering the Costs of Physical Therapy for your Injury Case in New Jersey? Leave it all to the Experienced Attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson deal with injury claims all the time and know the in’s and out’s of proving accident claims to get you compensated. No matter what the source of your injury requiring continue physical therapy and costing heavily in medical treatment, along with your mental and physical health, count on our legal team to tirelessly seek the compensation you deserve.
At Cohen & Riechelson we frequently assist clients throughout Trenton, and Mercer County, including East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, and Lawrence. Call 609-528-2596 as soon as you are able after an accident to discuss your options and what can be done on your behalf.